Lebanon goes to the polls / Warren Buffett’s Woodstock of capitalism / US celebrates Cinco de Mayo

By Billy

Good morning, here’s your Friday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

Lebanon votes for the first time in nine years under new poll system

The people of Lebanon will vote this weekend for the first time in nine years in a general election that looks set to reelect Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, a Sunni Muslim.

If elected, it’s thought Al-Hariri will form a government that includes the Iran-backed Shia movement Hizbollah, though political analysts are predicting he will lose some seats from his parliamentary majority.

As a new generation votes in Lebanon for the first time, issues around decriminalising homosexuality, abolishing child marriage, improving women’s rights and introducing secular laws have all cropped up for the first time.

The country is also using a new polling system which merges proportional representation with quotas for each religious group to maintain Lebanon’s delicate sectarian balance.

Meanwhile, a record number of women are running for office in the country — 86 female candidates will be competing for Lebanon’s 128 legislative seats.

Buffett’s Woodstock of capitalism

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway will host its annual shareholders’ meeting tomorrow in Omaha, Nebraska.

The event — known as the Woodstock of capitalism — draws tens of thousands of investors every year.

Berkshire sent out slightly more tickets to this year’s extravaganza than in 2015, when an estimated 42,000 celebrated Buffett’s 50th year at the helm. A couple of million people are expected to watch Buffett and Berkshire vice chairman Charlie Munger chat online this year via Yahoo Finance.

Berkshire Hathaway — a sprawling conglomerate — owns or controls businesses from sectors ranging across car insurance, mobile homes, wind power, cowboy boots, chocolate, helium balloon inflators, and electronic sow feeding systems.

US celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo, while not widely celebrated in Mexico, has become a staple holiday for Mexican-Americans north of the border and many are expected to hold parties marking the date tomorrow.

The day of celebration, commemorating an underdog victory over France in the Battle of Puebla on 5 May 1862, rapidly gained popularity throughout the 20th century, largely on the back of ad campaigns by big beer companies.

In 2013, people in the US bought $600 million worth of beer during the week of Cinco de Mayo, more than during the Super Bowl or St Patrick’s Day, according to research firm Nielsen.